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  • Saturday
    SA Reviews #114

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Intern burst open a door, startling the Angels gathered inside sitting next to a poker table, and causing many to drop their cards.

    “Hey, I was about to win that hand!” Cynewulf yelled.

    Intern ignored her. He cast a quick glance over their confused and concerned faces, scowled, then slammed the door shut. He stomped towards the next door and threw it open much the same way he did the first. Long past the point of caring, Intern once again looked over everybody inside the room. At last, sitting towards the back in a darkened corner, he found his target.

    Waltzing in and brushing past anyone in his way, Intern loomed over the figure that was furiously scribbling away on a piece of paper.

    Intern reached over and flicked the on switch for the light.

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    4 comments · 473 views
  • 4 weeks
    SA Reviews #112

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The low-lying fog obscured the two ponies’ hooves as they tramped through the ancient graveyard. Luna’s moon hung in the early autumn air, burning a sickly yellow.

    “I hate graveyards, Ferret,” Intern said as he tightened his rucksack. He spluttered as he walked through a dangling cobweb.

    Ferret chuckled, and hopped over some brambles. “Watch where you step, you never know when—”

    There was a click underhoof, and a grasping griffon claw burst from the loam beneath the pair. Intern leapt back, cursing. Ferret laughed, and plucked the padded foam prop from its spring.

    “Why are we even here, Ferret? That new kid, Novel-whoever, is pretty good. This is a waste of our time.”

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    6 comments · 2,705 views
  • 6 weeks
    SA Reviews #111

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “You do the honors.” Ferret’s eyes glittered in the darkness of the ancient laboratory. The ancient portal glowed with unholy violet energy, illuminating only the barest hints of her figure and the shaking person beside her.

    “Me?” Chris protested, stepping back from the portal and glancing at the giant hourglass festooned with twinkling geodes, flashing bulbs and enough copper wire to build a Faraday cage. “I’m not touching that thing! It looks like something Lovecraft and Jules Verne made on a bet! A very drunk bet!”

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    25 comments · 2,902 views
  • 7 weeks
    SA Reviews #104

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Methodical fingers fell on the keyboard. Ticks and clacks and tacks echoed through the dreary cubicle halls of the corporate office space. Bleary-eyed and coffee-deprived, Matthew sat in front of the screen with the lethargic determination of the recently dead. The computer monitor, though searingly bright, was comparatively dim to the fluorescent lights that flickered on the ceiling.

    Then Red showed up holding a squirrel-sized newspaper and a human-sized coffee mug, which was full of assorted nuts. He slugged a mouthful down and barely chewed.

    “Ha ha ha!” the squirrel said. “Turns out Pontchartrain really did track mud in the house! I love that comic.”

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    18 comments · 2,969 views
  • 13 weeks
    SA Reviews #109

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Matthew stood next to a metal door labeled “The Cool Room”. He had never seen this door before; not surprising since the Seattle’s Angels compound tended to lose and gain random rooms with astonishing frequency. He made a mental note to complain to the guys running the relativity lab to dial it back a bit.

    Pushing back those thoughts for later, Matthew grabbed hold of the handle to the door, turned, and pulled the door open. A rush of cold air blasted him, almost knocking him back. Matthew, now wishing he had brought a coat, braced himself and entered.

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    13 comments · 3,480 views
  • 15 weeks
    SA Reviews #108

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Archonix strolled through the second floor hallway of the Seattle’s Angels Secret Underground Base and Treefort.  He licked his thumb as he leafed through a stack of papers, humming Winter Wrap Up in a most Scottish manner.  Without looking up from his work, he stopped and rapped his knuckles on Corejo’s bedroom door.

    “Hey, Core, you in there?  We need your reviews.”  No answer.  Archonix looked up at the dozens of Luna pictures taped haphazardly to the door.  ‘No Celestias allowed!’ read a small poster board stuck in the middle in glued macaroni and glitter.  The light of a computer monitor escaped through the crack beneath the door.  “Core?”

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    6 comments · 1,590 views
  • 17 weeks
    SA Reviews #107

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.
     


     
    Briefcase in hand, Chris nervously entered the room.  It was bare except for an imposing desk and a high-backed office chair, the latter with its back to him.  “Um, hello?  I’m here about the interview.  Ah, about becoming a Seattle’s Angels reviewer?”
     
    “So, you’re the new guy, eh?” The voice came from the chair.  Chris watched as it slowly swiveled to face him, revealing a diminutive rodent perched upon it.
     
    “Um, yeah, pleased to meet you.”  Chris held out his hand, a gesture met with an arched eyebrow.  “Right, squirrel, sorry.” He awkwardly brought it back to his side.  “So… you must be RedSquirrel, right?”  The rodent’s other eyebrow joined the first.  “Oh, uh, I guess that’s a silly question.”
     

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    13 comments · 1,910 views
  • 19 weeks
    SA Reviews #106

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.
     


    A lone figure wrapped in furs lay flat, exhausted, at the world’s jagged edge.

    She had done it. She had traversed numerous kingdoms and broken empires, fought immeasurable hordes, raised kings and humbled the proud, become a legend. She had seen things you people wouldn’t believe--attack ships off the shoulders of Orion, C-Beams glittering in the dark ‘round the Tannhauser Gate, the Walls of Morning and the Wailing Plains of Night. All these things, now so infinitesimally small with her final goal in sight. Just a few more stairs. Just… just a few more.

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    0 comments · 2,123 views
  • 21 weeks
    SA Reviews #105

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Of the many things Scarlet Weather anticipated on seeing when she entered the Angels’ breakroom, seeing a beet red Intern splayed all over the couch, face down, wasn’t too far off from the ordinary. Extraordinary required extra-dimensional mirror portal travel, demon invasion, and Ferret shenanigans. And with the advances being done with Scarlet’s compact, the first one would soon be bumped down the list.

    So it was that Scarlet walked past Intern, opened the fridge, grabbed a fruit drink, and headed back towards the exit.

    “Aren’t you going to ask what happened?” Intern’s muffled voice called after her.

    “No. I can come up with a few things myself, thank you.”

    Intern somehow sank lower into the couch cushions. “You’re all so cruel…”

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    9 comments · 1,391 views
  • 23 weeks
    SA Reviews #104

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Just inside the Seattle’s Angels prison compound, the new guy burst through Ferret’s bedroom door.

    “FERRET!” he yelled with a crazed look in his eye. “I just realized, we don’t have an introduction, let alone a conclusion!”

    “You know, Matthew, you aren’t technically the new guy anymore... we have Chris now.”

    “True... but still, what do we do for the intro?”

    “I don’t know, you should make something up. Just make sure it’s funny.”

    “But that’s the problem, Ferret. I’ve been thinking about it for a week and I’ve got nothing. Pretty soon, Scarlet over there is gonna start hounding me about deadlines.”

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    7 comments · 1,097 views
Oct
10th
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #113 · 1:59am October 10th

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


"What's that in your mouth?"

"It's a pipe," said Cyne, and jabbed the briary thing at Archonix from her comfortable chair by the fire, that flickered low and dark, and smoked more than a thoughtful philosopher at three in the morning when the rain is scattering drops in careful patterns across dust-rimed windows.

Archonix raised his eyebrows. "And it comes with all that prose for free, does it?"

Cyne clomped her teeth around the pipe and glared at Archonix. "You smoke one as well, you donkey."

"Only when I'm trying to write reviews," said Archonix. "And that's discrimination that is."

Cyne didn't answer, preferring to stare into the fire and to think long thoughts, something entirely alien to Archonix on the best of days. They sighed in unison.

ROUND 113


Miss Cheerilee has always looked out for her former pupil, Pinkamena Diane Pie ("Pinkie" to her friends).

Hooves must always (always) look after his current employer, Roland Bertram Aethelnoth Whickers the Third, Viscount Astley ("Bertie" to his friends).

But when Bertie met Pinkie, something happened that neither the schoolteacher nor the butler had looked for.


I adore Jeeves and Wooster. I cannot get enough of it; neither the books nor the television series with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

I'm more than fond of the clash-of-the-classes sort of fiction, the mixing of refinement and, for want of a better word, crudity, even if it is at something of a remove.

Of a Cheerilee both middle-aged and so protective of her students that she'd accidentally—well.

And I've met TheJediMasterEd at Bronycon - he mixes a mean manhattan, if I do recall correctly - so I am ridiculously partial about this particular entry.

There's even a bit of mythological worldbuilding. This thing is my bread and butter.

The first time I ever talked to Ed, he commented on a story of mine to unravel a thread of suggestion I had half-buried and half-forgotten and it was delightful. I’m glad to say his own writing is the same.

This is a love story, but probably not like you’re used to seeing it. It’s a “how they got together” story but its also… again, not like you’re used to seeing. It’s about two very different people and the strangeness of emotional attachment. It’s about chess, and I mean that in more than one way. It’s also about Cheerilee, and I’ll admit that having just become a teacher I was kinda touched.

The style reminds me of the sort of thing I would hand out to a ENG 201 class in college, that sort of “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket”/ Rabbit style of New York newspaper fiction prose but with a touch of the artistic sort one only finds in someone who has an active internal monologue and a more than passing familiarity with writers who like to play around with the conventions of putting words into sentences. In short, it’s good and it manages to make stream of conciousness work in a few places. I highly recommend.


Manehattan leaves its hoofprint on everypony who ventures into it.


This feels like a romance.

I'm not saying that to complain, mind you. It isn't mistagged; it's nothing of the sort. It's just two new friends enjoying coffee together while they try to weave some semblance of understanding from the raw tangle of emotions wrapped around and between them like so much colourful cotton.

I say it feels like a romance because romances are about that deep, emotional bond and that understanding of the self, or at least they're a facsimile of it. The best are also subtle about it; rather than waving the emotional undercurrents in your face like a flag, they drape it insubstantially about your mind, leaving only impressions and thoughts and feelings. Silken spectres in place of the neon emotionalism of the lesser writer.

Two friends having coffee. Someone with less investment in the story would have made it a romance. It wouldn't have been nearly as good.

Anyone who has ever asked me what FiMFic writers I like or admire has heard me talk about Hoof-ful before. There’s a reason for that.

Hoof-ful gives us my favorite sort of story--the extraordinary in the mundane. It’s a kind of thing I do a lot myself, and its a kind of thing I enjoy immensely in others’ writing. There’s so much that happens in small, quiet moments, so much that one can miss and so easily. The world blurs around small fixed points in time, odds and ends that always make me think about J. Alfred Prufock but without the whole, you know, alienation thing.

True Colors is a simple story. It’s a bit of coffee after a big emotional moment. It’s a mare processing a lot of things at once in a brave new world, Rarity murmuring in a coffee shop, and a bit about Manehattan and colors. On the surface, not much to write about. But Hoof-ful really is a master of the conversation. Much like they did in “Both Sides Now”, they manage to create dialogue that is pregnant with suggestion but never absolutely committing to one extreme or the other. Sometimes the cigar is just a cigar--and sometimes coffee is just coffee. Except when it’s not really about coffee at all.


After an argument with Twilight, Luna is out of sorts. Smasher, a clumsy colt with a penchant for breaking valuables, isn’t having the best day either.


The main thing about Luna, the one defining thing about her, is that she's out of place. Even in the latest episodes, she's a little awkward and a little oddly out of tune with the way other people think. At the same time, her outsider status gives her insights that others might not have.

More than anything, they give her empathy for other outsiders, for others who might not quite fit into the world they're meant to be a part of.

Though painted within the frame of a relationship, this story is Luna's isolation and empathy serving as a means to impart confidence and wisdom to a youngster who can't quite find his place. It's probably one of the better uses of the character I've read.

The thing about other people is that they are other people, and by default we are always to some extent on uneven footing. Like a general relying on reports from miles away about things he knows only as symbols on a map, we have only fragmented and often contradictory information. Sartre said that “Hell is Other People” but I tend to think that it’s more that other people are beautiful, fractured things and that care is needed.

This is a story about Luna coming across a class trip after a particularly unpleasant spat. The Luna in this story is excellent, not straying overmuch into archaism but retaining some of the dignity we associate with anachronism. The foals she talk to are by turns hilarious and honestly pretty true to life. The lesson is solid. And there is a lesson! The Aesop is strong with this one, and while I’m sometimes unsure of such things, I can confidantly say that this one is both needful and told well.


Before Sunset Shimmer tried to take over a high school, long before she fled through the mirror portal, in the days before she was even the personal student of Princess Celestia, the young filly met Canterlot's most elusive stranger. He gave her a secret. And then a gift. And finally, a revelation.

In the end, he really only brought Sunset a curse.


This one hurt; right in the "feels" as you youngins say. While the mechanism of its framing might seem a little cliché at first, this particular take digs right into the core of Sunset's character and draws out the thing that really makes her tick. It shows her as a young filly, as an outsider, who sees the world just that little bit differently.

Sunset is like Twilight, driven to seek knowledge. Both are powerful; both shun friendships and relationships in favour of gaining Celestia's approval and acquiring new knowledge. The difference is why: Twilight sought the knowledge for its own sake; Sunset for the promise of the power that knowledge would grant her.

Perhaps being out of place has been the theme of this whole week, or perhaps - like Sunset - I'm just seeing things that I want to see rather than the things that are right there.

I’ve seen a lot on why Sunset Shimmer went wrong. Arrogance, reckless abandon, greed, even Celestia being her long lost mother--all these I’ve seen. This story rests comfortably somewhere between childish hubris and the will to power. Sunset is still in Magic Kindergarten, and she is bright and possessed of the absorbed mentality that we excuse in children because they are perhaps the only ones who can possess it innocently.

What is excusable in a child is less excusable in one who steps into things they should not. She is only a child, after all, and as we see, she is not really prepared for what she wants and the things she must do to attain those desires. Nor is she really understanding what exactly the nature of the things she desires. Sometimes, we just want the wrong things.


"Next time, we do this my way," Archonix said. He pulled out a bottle of gin and grinned. "Trust me, it'll be a blast."

Cyne raised her eyes to the heavens.

The rain continued to fall.


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Wanderer D · 2,577 views ·
Comments ( 4 )

Hmm, may need to check some of these out.

Also:

ROUND ##

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Glad to see Hoof-ful getting more recognition. :)

I positively appreciate the style of this review. Thank you all.

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